23 Jun 2009

Solomon Islands govt admits its fee free policy puts pressure on teachers

10:37 am on 23 June 2009

The Solomon Islands government admits its fee free policy is putting pressure on teachers and classrooms but says that's no reason not to continue the policy.

New Zealand has announced a second payment of just over one million US dollars bringing its total contribution to the policy to two point two million US dollars.

The Education Minister Matthew Wale says a survey shows an increase in enrolments in the Honiara area since the policy was introduced.

He says it is a challenge to meet the demand for more classrooms, teachers and materials but his Ministry is determined to address that.

"They are not good enough arguments to keep from saying we should not remove any impediments to access so we have gone ahead as a government and said we've got to enter into this fee free basic education policy and then know the extent to which we need to address the other issues and work in tandem with our donors to address those issues."

Matthew Wale says the policy will improve employment opportunities for more children.